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The Dutch way…. ….The humus form as a display of ecosystem processes. Bas van Delft Rein de Waal Rolf Kemmers. Contents. Dutch humus profile research Who, where Ecological soil classification (ecosystem approach) Examples of humus profile development series

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The dutch way

The Dutch way….

….The humus form as a display of ecosystem processes

Bas van Delft

Rein de Waal

Rolf Kemmers


Contents
Contents

  • Dutch humus profile research

    • Who, where

    • Ecological soil classification (ecosystem approach)

  • Examples of humus profile development series

    • primary succession in coastal dunes

    • acidification in grassland

  • Dutch humus form classification


Dutch humus profile research
Dutch humus profile research

  • University of Amsterdam (Sevink, Emmer, Smit)

    • Fundamental (chemical properties - soil forming processes)

  • Alterra (De Waal, Kemmers, Van Delft)

    • Applied research

    • Related to ecosystem processes

    • Both forest and non-forest ecosystems

    • Both terrestrial and semi-terrestrial systems

    • Humus form classification as a tool for ecosystem description and monitoring


Ecological soil classification
Ecological soil classification

  • Dutch soil classification

    • based on long term soil forming processes (centuries)

    • designed for agricultural applications

    • not appropriate to recognise changes in the ecosystem

  • Ecological soil classification

    • designed to describe relevant site factors (moisture, nutrients, acidity)

    • based on Ecosystem theory of Jenny (1941)

    • humus profile reflects ecosystem properties

      Humus form classification important part of ecological soil classification


Ecological soil classification (approach)

VEGETATION

Operational

Site factors

DEPENDENT FACTORS

cm

0

o

20

SOIL

HUMUS-

Decomposition processes

40

PARENT

MATERIAL

Phys.-chem. processes

HYDROLOGY

Hydrological processes

INDEPENDENT FACTORS

Geo(morpho)logical processes

TOPOGRAPHY

Meteorological processes

CLIMATE

Physiological:

Availability (N, P)

Aeration

Moisture deficit

Toxicity

Conditional

Site factors

Physical/chemical:

Stocks (N, P)

ANC

Moisture capacity


Framework ecological soil classification two levels
FrameworkEcologicalSoilClassificationTwolevels

Veg.

Dynamic

Humus form

=f (pH, moist,...)

2. Dependent factors

Humus form

Parent material

8 Physiographic

Units

(Soil map)

Topography

(=Hydrology)

1. Indep. factors

Persistent

Humus form as an indicator of actual site conditions !!


Humus profile development series primary succession in coastal dunes
Humus profile development series: Primary succession in coastal dunes

Initially calcareous sand

loam content < 5 %

fast decalcification


Humus profile development series primary succession in coastal dunes initial stage
Humus profile development series: Primary succession in coastal dunes (initial stage)

pH(KCl)

0-5cm

4,5 - 6,5

3,5 - 4,5

3,5-4,0

3.0-3,5

2,5 - 3,0

10 cm

L

F

H

0 cm

Ah/AC

AE

10 cm

AB or B

20 cm

Initially calcareous sand

fast decomposition

humus form: calcareous sandmull

vegetation: Berberidion vulgaris

humusform changes by decalcification

decalcification (free CaCO3)

C

30 cm

40 cm


Humus profile development series primary succession in coastal dunes1
Humus profile development series: Primary succession in coastal dunes

pH(KCl)

0-5cm

4,5 - 6,5

3,5 - 4,5

3,5-4,0

3.0-3,5

2,5 - 3,0

10 cm

L

F

H

0 cm

Ah/AC

AE

10 cm

AB or B

20 cm

decalcification (free CaCO3)

C

30 cm

40 cm

humus form changes by decalcification:

  • eluviation of lime

  • no acid buffer in sand

  • fast acidification of topsoil

  • slow decomposition

  • accumulation of organic matter

Chronosequence


Humus profile development series primary succession in coastal dunes final stage
Humus profile development series: Primary succession in coastal dunes (final stage)

pH(KCl)

0-5cm

4,5 - 6,5

3,5 - 4,5

3,5-4,0

3.0-3,5

2,5 - 3,0

10 cm

L

F

H

0 cm

Ah/AC

AE

10 cm

AB or B

20 cm

decalcification (free CaCO3)

C

30 cm

40 cm

humus form changes by decalcification:

  • humus form: Forest-xeromormoder

  • vegetation: Quercion roboris


Humus profile development series primary succession in coastal dunes2
Humus profile development series: Primary succession in coastal dunes

pH(KCl)

0-5cm

4,5 - 6,5

3,5 - 4,5

3,5-4,0

3.0-3,5

2,5 - 3,0

10 cm

L

F

H

0 cm

Ah/AC

AE

10 cm

AB or B

20 cm

decalcification (free CaCO3)

C

30 cm

40 cm

1 soil unit

5 humus forms!

Calcareous

sandmull

Acid

sandmull

Ecto-

sandmull

Dune-

sandmullmoder

Forest-

mormoder


Humus profile development series acidification in brookvalley grasslands optimal conditions
Humus profile development series: Acidification in brookvalley grasslands (optimal conditions)

‘Optimal’ conditions

  • Acid-buffer supplied by seepage water (pH  5.5)

  • Active soil fauna (earthworms)

  • Strong bioturbation

  • Fast nutrient cycling

  • Humus form: Mull

  • Vegetation: Cirsio-Molinietum


Acid buffering systems
Acid buffering systems brookvalley grasslands (optimal conditions)

lime

ion-exchange

aluminum

Ca-saturation = 60%

pH-H2O = 6


Humus profile development series acidification in brookvalley grasslands threats
Humus profile development series: Acidification in brookvalley grasslands (threats)

‘Optimal’ conditions

  • Acid-buffer supplied by seepage water (pH  5.5)

  • Active soil fauna (earthworms)

  • Strong bioturbation

  • Fast nutrient cycling

  • Humus form: Mull

  • Vegetation: Cirsio-Molinietum

  • Threatened by dropping groundwater table

    • brookvalleys drained for agricultural use

    • seepage flow decreased

    • acid buffer depleted


Acid buffering systems shifting humus profiles
Acid buffering systems: Shifting humus profiles brookvalley grasslands (threats)

lime

ion-exchange

aluminum

Ca-saturation = 60%

pH-H2O = 6


Humus profile development series acidification in brookvalley grasslands sub optimal conditions
Humus profile development series: Acidification in brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

‘Sub-Optimal’ conditions

  • Acid-buffer depleted (pH decreased)

  • Soil fauna activity decreased

  • Accumulation of organic matter

  • Slow nutrient cycling

Humus form: Moder

Vegetation: Caricion nigrae


Acid buffering systems shifting humus profiles1
Acid buffering systems: Shifting humus profiles brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

lime

ion-exchange

aluminum

Ca-saturation = 20%

pH-H2O = 4.5

Ca-saturation = 60%

pH-H2O = 6


Dutch humus form classification
Dutch humus form classification brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

  • Classes and criteria must be ‘ecologically relevant’

    • reflect environmental changes

    • reflect natural succession

  • Connection to existing systems

  • Applicable in field situation

  • Both forest and non-forest ecosystems

  • Both terrestrial and semi-terrestrial systems


Dutch humus form classification1
Dutch humus form classification brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

First level: Order (N=5)

accumulation

Mull

Mullmoder

Moder

Mormoder

Mor


Dutch humus form classification2
Dutch humus form classification brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

Semi-Terrestrial Mull

Terrestrial Mull

Semi-Terrestrial Mullmoder

Terrestrial Mullmoder

Semi-Terrestrial Moder

Terrestrial Moder

Terrestrial Mormoder

Semi-Terrestrial Mor

Terrestrial Mor

Second level: Suborder (N=9)

Mull

Mullmoder

Moder

Mormoder

Mor


Dutch humus form classification3
Dutch humus form classification brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

Vague mull

Limestone mull

Hydromull

Plaggenmull

S

Mull

Sandmull

T

Wormmull

S

Hydromullmoder

Mullmoder

T

Xeromullmoder

S

Peatmoder

Moder

Hydromoder

T

Xeromoder

Mormoder

T

Xeromormoder

S

Sphagnomor

Mor

Mesimor

T

Xeromormoder

Third level: Group (N=15)

Divided into 90 subgroups


Position of the examples dunes initial stage
Position of the examples: Dunes, initial stage brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

Vague mull

Limestone mull

Hydromull

Plaggenmull

S

Mull

Sandmull

T

Wormmull

S

Hydromullmoder

Mullmoder

T

Xeromullmoder

S

Peatmoder

Moder

Hydromoder

T

Xeromoder

Mormoder

T

Xeromormoder

S

Sphagnomor

Mor

Mesimor

T

Xeromormoder

Third level: Group (N=15)

Calcareous sandmull

terrestrial mull

calcareous sand

loam < 20%


Position of the examples dunes final stage
Position of the examples : Dunes, final stage brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

Vague mull

Limestone mull

Hydromull

Plaggenmull

S

Mull

Sandmull

T

Wormmull

S

Hydromullmoder

Mullmoder

T

Xeromullmoder

S

Peatmoder

Moder

Hydromoder

T

Xeromoder

Mormoder

T

Xeromormoder

S

Sphagnomor

Mor

Mesimor

T

Xeromormoder

Third level: Group (N=15)

Forest-xeromormoder

terrestrial mormoder

Hh < 2 cm

F+H > 5 cm


Position of the examples grassland first stage
Position of the examples : Grassland, first stage brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

Vague mull

Limestone mull

Hydromull

Plaggenmull

S

Mull

Sandmull

T

Wormmull

S

Hydromullmoder

Mullmoder

T

Xeromullmoder

S

Peatmoder

Moder

Hydromoder

T

Xeromoder

Mormoder

T

Xeromormoder

S

Sphagnomor

Mor

Mesimor

T

Xeromormoder

Third level: Group (N=15)

Brook-hydromull

semi-terrestrial mull

non-calcareous sand

loam > 20%


Position of the examples grassland final stage
Position of the examples : Grassland, final stage brookvalley grasslands (sub-optimal conditions)

Vague mull

Limestone mull

Hydromull

Plaggenmull

S

Mull

Sandmull

T

Wormmull

S

Hydromullmoder

Mullmoder

T

Xeromullmoder

S

Peatmoder

Moder

Hydromoder

T

Xeromoder

Mormoder

T

Xeromormoder

S

Sphagnomor

Mor

Mesimor

T

Xeromormoder

Third level: Group (N=15)

Rhizo-hydromoder

semi-terrestrial moder

non-calcareous sand

M > 2 cm and Ah < M


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